In my next life, after my time at the Foundation has drawn to a close, I like to think about traveling, playing more and continuing my writing. I’ve already decided on the next book I want to write and, truth be known, it’s already been started, so chances are it will not actually make it to my retirement years. It is a love story, a closer look at folks in our world today who are living, working and giving back to society with a commitment to truth and decency.
The inspiration for this book has sadly come out of what I believe is one of the most heart wrenching and heinous sagas of our generation, the Sandy Hook shooting. Whether it was the soulless killer who initiated the carnage or the shameful aftermath that followed, I believe it has come to represent that which is most wrong with our culture today.
My moment of clarity took place during the victims’ response portion of the most recent court case brought against Alex Jones; the man who had shamelessly benefited financially from the Sandy Hook tragedy. Using his Infowars media platform, he spread false conspiracies theories and demonized the victims and their families while promoting and selling products through his on-line store. Throughout the process he deliberately encouraged his fan base to harass the parents of those children who had been slain, which they have done consistently over the last 10 years. It may be one of the most heinous get-rich-quick schemes in history and it absolutely destroyed the lives of those families who had already endured the unendurable.
I can still vividly remember the quiet compelling words spoken by Scarlett Lewis, the mother of her very real and deceased 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis. She spoke with dignity and remarkable restraint while peering directly into the eyes of the man who had knowingly and shamelessly hurt so many families. She reminded Jones of the necessity and the power of truth in today’s world with these words;
“Truth is what we base our reality on and we have to agree on that to have a civil society.” Still looking straight into the eyes of this man, who was, even then, still shaking his head in denial, she reminded him that, “We are more polarized than ever as a country and some of this is because of you.”
The inherent power and eloquence of Scarlett Lewis’ restraint was remarkable and utterly unforgettable. Like her I was, and still am, amazed it had not only taken 10 years, but also required a lawsuit to stop the lies and abuse Jones’ greed had inflicted upon these families. How could something this unjust and vile take place in America today? How can a society built upon the premise of “liberty and justice for all” permit this kind of criminal behavior to so publicly occur without swift and fierce accountability? It’s an unmistakable indictment on the current moral and ethical state of our country and Scarlett was right; Jones may be the poster child, but every single one of us are complicit because we allowed this to happen. We as a nation must recognize this, acknowledge our collective responsibility, always remember this spectacular moral failure and never permit it to happen again. America is so much better than this, I have to believe there is a silent majority out there who are willing to hold politicians, business leaders and other social influencers to task.
Those are the people I want to write about in my next book. I know they are out there because I work with them, I help them do their giving and I clearly see their good hearts and because of this, I know there is hope. For Good… For High Point… Forever.